We have an innate ability to create habits – you were born to create habits! If you’re able to walk and talk and write you’ll know that to be true!
I was asked to speak to the 3000 employees at Raiffeisen Bank International AG last month as part of their Curiosity Series (don’t you wish your organisation had a Curiosity Series!?) on Healthy Working Habits. We had 300+ live and 100s more have watched the recording already which is testament to our desire to create and/or break habits (and hopefully to my inspirational speaker style!!!)
There are a plethora of books and articles and TED Talks on the subject of ‘Habits’ but I want to share a different perspective on the power of habits and 3 habits that have changed my life and are universally available to all humans. I want to make sure you got the benefit too as I know you are here because you want to expand your thinking and show up as the best version of yourself in your life and work.
The first to know, from the modern neuroscience of things, is that ‘You can teach an old dog new tricks’.
Our habits are baked into our 100 trillion neural pathways! Some of them are great, some of them aren’t so healthy for us physically and mentally and there’s a whole area of opportunity to create new habits. Very few are ‘hard-wired’.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to re-wire itself in response to its experience. That’s pretty incredible don’t you think?! Yes, your 80 Billion neurons have wired together in a hundred trillion neural pathways but, we now know these pathways are not fixed, forming new habits requires us to take advantage of our ability to re-wire! There are an infinite number of habits that I’ve seen implemented well in leaders I’ve worked with across the globe, from junior leaders to CEOs. From ‘continuous feedback loops’ to ‘high intensity interval training’! I want to draw your attention to 3 that have the unique ability to change much more than one element of the way we work.
3 Healthy Working Habits
Acting (or not acting) in accordance with our state of mind is a healthy habit with exponential impact.
Green: feeling in ‘flow’, in the zone, making quick decisions, accessing fresh insights and energy effortlessly.
Amber: potentially second-guessing yourself and/or others, overthinking, hesitating to make decisions, proceeding but with caution.Red: feeling reactive, defensive, annoyed, disappointed, confused? Not a time to take action yet, paradoxically, when we often choose to sit ourselves / everyone down to ‘figure something out’ / get to the bottom of something.
Experiment: Consider your “LTTR” – Listen To Talk Ratio. Notice the ratio in your next Performance Review or Objective Setting meeting. What might change if you had a habit of deeply listened to the other human in front of you?
Listening is one of the most powerful ways to build connection and trust – yes, even with that difficult client or stakeholder. A basic human desire is to be heard.
Experiment: Remove your AJE (Assumptions, Judgements and Expectation) and notice what you see differently about your peer, boss, client or stakeholder’s reality.In the words of the great philosopher Rumi, “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”
Our brains are built to habituate – stop and check: how many habits got you to this point in your day? Put your socks on before your trousers, brushed your teeth the same way, had your oat milk flat white from the same coffee shop?! Got annoyed at the same set of traffic lights that always take forever!?
Creating healthy habits starts with seeing how much you want it. How willing you are to experiment? Our brains seek to avoid discomfort more than to pursue pleasure. Your ‘why’ has to be worth the calorie burning, cognitive effort of creating new neural pathways. Take 15mins and tune into your favourite radio station, as I like to call it, W.I.I. “FM” radio: “What’s In It For Me?”.
Which one of these three healthy habits will be important enough to YOU let alone your team, clients or the business?
Stay tuned – I promise to send you over the 7 tips for creating Healthy Habits in the next couple of weeks!
In the meantime, please know that I am so grateful for you. Thank you for being a part of my day, and thank you for being a part of my world. I would love to know what you see differently as you experiment with these three healthy working habits!
Client Success Story
Tiffany says; “It’s been an amazing, amazing journey. I got a huge amount out of people sharing stories, hearing other people’s challenges, as well as their successes and celebrations. You really help people to make better conscious choices … and believe in themselves.”